Saturday, August 25, 2007

Step Closer To Legal Pot In TX?


Lawmakers relax rules on people caught with pot


05:35 PM CDT on Friday, August 24, 2007

By ELISE HU
KVUE News

Getting caught with a little marijuana in Texas may not mean automatic arrest -- at least not anymore.
Starting September 1, police officers will have the discretion to let people caught with four ounces or less get off with a citation and a court date -- instead of being booked.
"It will save us both time and money," said Travis County Sheriff's Department spokesman Roger Wade. "It will give the deputy out on the street a chance to actually stay out on the street."
The Sheriff's Department estimates booking people caught with four ounces or less cost more than $1 million in 2006.
Wade says the change will help unclog booking facilities, too. The criminal penalties for pot possession are not changing; rather, the change simply keeps lower risk lawbreakers from being taken into custduring the spring session.
The new law also gives officers discretion over whether to arrest petty thieves and graffiti artists. Support for the measure is wide.
"It would actually make the most sense not to cite anyone for marijuana and not put them in jail or fine them at all -- it should be legal," said Kampia. "However, this is a step in the right direction."
Borrowed from TXCN <--Texas Cable News

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